So, as some of you may know I was recently asked if I would like to review some books by Lark Books....no, I don't know what I did to receive such an honor and I'm totally stunned that anyone would even want my opinion, but you're going to get it :)
First up is Diane Fitzgerald's "Favorite Beading Projects"
Now, Diane is one of the Grand Dame's of beading as far as I am concerned and it's daunting, to say the least, to offer my opinion of one of her books...but here we go.
I think this is a very well thought out book...even a little sneaky, in a good way :) What do I mean by "sneaky"?
Well, seed beads and bead weaving can be scary to a lot of people and their immediate thought is "I can't do that"....as a teacher of bead weaving and having done numerous demos I have heard that hundreds of times.
With this book Diane cleverly introduces seed beads by showing mouth watering projects that take the reader from simple stringing designs into actual bead woven designs.
Take this project, "Fortune-Teller Beads", if you're someone who has strung beads this is very tempting, because it builds on what you know with a simple technique to take your skills to the next level. All of a sudden you know how to do netting stitch, and if you can do that...well, the door is open.
I love smart people and smart things and I can honestly say Diane and this book fall into those categories. If you have ever looked at seed beads or bead weaving and thought "I can't do that" buy this book! If you know someone who has drooled over your designs and said "I could never do that" buy them this book!
The designs are delightful and temptingly easy enough for a beginner.
My thanks to Diane for writing this book because I know she is converting people to bead weaving with it and as a designer of beading tutorials I get to benefit from there being more seed bead lovers in the world :)
And now for something completely different :)
Something I don't do but have always wanted to do....Metal Clay.
I do work in polymer clay but haven't as yet moved to metal clay.....mostly because my mother thinks I'll burn the house down with the blow torch. She's wrong....that would be my brother :) With the upcoming move I will have a place of my own...with hopefully a garage...and that workbench I see in Costco so I can start working in metal clay.
So...we have "Metal Clay Fusion" by Gordon K. Uyehara and what a scrumptious book!!
This book makes me want to order metal clay immediately (must not, must not) with stunning photos of Gordon's gorgeous work, I'm a fan.
And Gordon shows us how, step by step!
It really is a thorough book on the skills required, teaching you everything you need to know to create beautiful metal jewelry. In a mere skimming of the book I learned so much and I know it will be my 'go to' book when I do start working with metal clay.
Gordon really covers all the angles, from a really complete list to put your 'Metal Clay Kit' together and how to use everything, with techniques to take you from beginner to advanced. He does recommend taking a class if you've never worked with metal clay before and once you've looked through this book I think you'll be looking for the closest, soonest class available.
I also really appreciated the section on "Artiquette" about being professional as an artist and being original....I will share what he says about being original because I think this cannot be said enough and he says it so well.
"Thou shalt not copy. Just don't do it. Though it's true that there really is nothing new under the sun, let me make it very clear : If it looks like somebody else's work, don't publish it or sell it as your own. Add your personal, distinctive touch to it so you can make it your own. This is especially true with regard to published step-by-step instructions. Even though it's public, it never was your idea. So step up and credit the designer. Someone will call you on it anyway. Avoid the embarrassment, because those in the community will know."
True words! And here are a couple of examples of projects in the book...a very original bead and a cool bangle.
Click on the book covers to go to where you can buy these great books.
And finally....yesterday I received a big box of books from Lark, one of which was Jamie Cloud Eakin's "Dimensional Bead Embroidery" which I bought a couple of weeks ago and reviewed before I knew I was going to be a reviewer. So...now I have two copies....I'm not greedy, so I am giving a copy of this great bead embroidery book away.
Just tell me why you should be the lucky recipient and the person who convinces me they need it the most will get it...though you will have to pay the shipping. Don't forget to leave me your e-mail address so I can contact you.